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Supergirl (Kara Zor-El)
Kara Zor-El.1
Gender: Male
Location: Krypton
Known Relatives: Kal-El (Cousin)
Portrayed By: Helen Slater

Supergirl is the superhero name of Kara Zor-El, cousin to Superman. She was created by writer Otto Binder and designed by artist Al Plastino in 1959, and she first appeared in Action Comics, in whose first issue Superman himself was introduced. The character first appeared in comic books and later appeared children's cartoon animation, film, and television.

The Supergirl character first appeared in a story published in Action Comics #252 (May 1959) titled "The Supergirl from Krypton." Since the character's comic book debut, Kara Zor-El's Supergirl has been adapted into various media relating to the Superman franchise, including merchandise, television, and feature film. However, during the 1980s and the revolution of the Modern Age of Comics, Superman editors believed the character’s history had become too convoluted, and desired to re-establish Superman as "The Last Son of Krypton." Supergirl was thus killed during the 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths and retconned out of existence. Since Crisis, several characters unrelated to Superman have used the alias "Supergirl."

Kara Zor-El re-entered mainstream continuity in 2004 when DC Comics Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Dan DiDio, along with editor Eddie Berganza and comic book writer Jeph Loeb, reintroduced the character in the Superman/Batman storyline "The Supergirl from Krypton." The title paid homage to the original character’s 1959 debut. As the current Supergirl, Kara Zor-El stars in her own monthly comic book series. With DC's 2011 relaunch, Kara, like most of the DC Universe, was revamped. She is currently featured in her own series Supergirl, as well as related comics like Superman.

In other media

Film

  • A live action depiction of Supergirl first appears in the eponymous 1984 film starring Helen Slater as Supergirl. The film is a spin-off from the Superman film series starring Christopher Reeve, to which it is connected by Marc McClure's character Jimmy Olsen. The film was poorly received, and it was not a box-office success. But has since gained a cult following. It's plot concerns Supergirl, Superman's cousin, leaving her isolated Kryptonian community of Argo City for Earth in an effort to retrieve the unique "Omegahedron." The item has fallen into the hands of evil witch Selena (Faye Dunaway), and havoc ensues.
  • Summer Glau voices the post-Crisis version of Kara Zor-El in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, which is based on the Superman/Batman storyline "The Supergirl from Krypton". Despite this, it was confirmed by director Lauren Montgomery that Supergirl's name was removed from the title due to the much slower sales of the previous Wonder Woman animated movie, and the character was not permitted to appear on the cover in her trademark outfit. In the movie, Kara arrives on Earth in a rocket and is discovered by Batman and Superman. After living amongst the human race and receiving training from the Amazons, Kara is kidnapped by Darkseid and brainwashed into becoming one of his Female Furies. She is ultimately rescued by her cousin, and returns to Earth. After arriving back at the Kent home, Kara and Clark are attacked by Darkseid, and a massive battle ensues. Kara ultimately saves the day by using a Boom Tube to teleport Darkseid into an unknown area of space, where he is shown to be frozen and floating aimlessly. At the film's conclusion, Kara adopts the Supergirl identity and vows to fight injustice alongside her cousin.
  • Molly Quinn voices Supergirl in Superman: Unbound.
  • A reference of Kara is seen in Man of Steel where Clark sees a space pod open in the Fortress. In addition, a prequel tie-in comic was released that revealed Kara's connection to the ship found on Ellesmere Island as well as her life prior, although her ultimate fate was left unknown.
Superman Films
Films 1978-1987
SupermanSuperman IISuperman IIISuperman IV: The Quest for Peace
Other films

SupergirlSuperman II: The Richard Donner CutSuperman ReturnsMan of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Adapted characters
General ZodJor-ElJonathan KentMartha KentNonUrsaLaraLois LaneLucy LaneLana LangLex LuthorJimmy OlsenSupergirl / Kara Zor-ElSuperman / Clark KentPerry WhiteOtisRoss WebsterGus GormanDaily PlanetMetropolis

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